How Fashion Brands Can Leverage User-Generated Content From Influencers To Drive Engagement And Sales

In our modern, digital age, brands are consistently looking for new methods of drawing attention to their products or services – and the fashion industry is particularly saturated, so it’s even more important to find ways to achieve this. Enter user-generated content (UGC): posts and videos made by consumers and fans alike that incorporate a brand into said content. These creations can allow brands to tap into the individual experiences of each consumer, thereby helping them appear both authentic and relatable to audiences. In this piece, we’ll summarize the benefits of UGC in the fashion scene, as well as let you in on tried and true strategies for identifying who to work with on UGC campaigns and how to measure their effectiveness. Let’s get right to it.

Outlining UGC and its benefits

To expand on what we’ve already mentioned, user-generated content refers to content that is purely created by customers or social media users, rather than by the brand itself. Examples include posts on social media platforms, reviews, product demos, testimonials, and much more.

Now that we know what UGC is, it’s important to establish why exactly you may want to use it. Some of the biggest benefits include:

  • Authenticity: Audiences are tired of fake, irrelevant content that doesn’t speak to them. UGC can help bridge that gap with more genuine posts, building trust with users again and in turn driving high engagement rates.

  • Social proof: People like to know what others just like them are buying, using, and actually enjoying. User-generated content serves as proof of this as it puts real people on show actively using a brand’s product offerings. This kind of influence is powerful in the fashion industry specifically, as buyers look to peers for recommendations and inspiration for their clothing purchases.

  • Increased reach: One of the main purposes of social media content is to grow in popularity and reach as many users as possible. Consumers are often more likely to view and share content that is relatable and features people just like them, thereby boosting traffic that is driven to a brand’s page or website.

This list is of course non-exhaustive but covers the three main pros of UGC that brands are likely to experience when incorporating it into their influencer marketing strategy.

Identifying the right influencers for UGC campaigns

As with most influencer marketing campaigns, there are various methods of discovery and outreach that can be employed to find creators that will work for you – but in any case, it’s best to refresh the necessary criteria to help you find appropriate influencers that can help you with campaigns involving user-generated content. Here are a few steps to consider:

  • Define the target audience: Knowing who you want your campaigns to reach is paramount to finding influencers who can help you achieve this. Characteristics you should outline upfront include user age, location, interests, and potentially other factors such as personal values and income.

  • Research potential influencers: Once you know who you want to reach, you can now go about finding creators who align with this ideal audience and who also count members of this audience among their following. Researching these influencers might involve checking their social media platforms, or going one step further and looking into their website or blog to get an overall feel for their content and style.

  • Determine the influencer's authenticity and engagement: Influencers can only serve your goals if their engagement rates and authenticity are up to scratch. It’s crucial that you check the likes, comments, and shares on their posts or stories, and then use your discretion to evaluate their authenticity.

  • Consider the influencer's fit with the brand: Brand reputations matter and those you choose to work with will have an effect on how your brand is perceived. You should ensure to thoroughly vet an influencer’s positioning and overall message to verify that it fits with your brand’s goals and values, which in turn will help any campaigns you collaborate on better resonate with your target audience.

Naturally, there are many smaller considerations when going about your influencer search, but following these pointers can help you best identify influencers that can make your user-generated content campaigns a success.

Collaborating with influencers to create UGC

A YouTuber doing a Prettylittlething try-on haul, a popular UGC method -- Miss Alex on YouTube

Once you’ve found an ideal selection of fashion influencers to use for campaigns involving UGC, you can then begin collaborating on actually creating this content – however, much like other campaigns, you always need to go over guidelines and dos and don’ts to keep your campaign running smoothly.  

First off, you should clearly communicate the specific theme or message of the campaign so that the content can align with it, and to ensure that content created by every influencer you’ve recruited will follow the campaign’s overall aim. This kind of consistency is favorable for audiences as they can more clearly associate this content with your brand and campaign, and hopefully improve its reception. 

In doing so, you should not discourage influencers from adding their own flair or experiences to the content they create. You want to capitalize on each influencer’s uniqueness and keep the content true to their brand and audiences as well, so make sure that you take advantage of their individual style to create a harmonic collaboration between your brand and theirs – at the end of the day, you want to respect the influencer’s creative control over their content.

Importantly, you should not neglect hashtags! These are vital to get the campaign and content trending, also allowing customers to add their own videos or posts to your campaign. In turn, your brand can then curate this content and reshare it either now, or in future posts.

Utilizing UGC in influencer marketing campaigns

Now that your fashion influencers have created high-quality, on-brand content involving your product, you can take this and use it in your marketing campaigns to push for brand awareness, and hopefully drive web traffic or sales for the product you’re promoting. There are a few different ways you can make use of this content though and will vary depending on your overall goals.

First off is the usual approach of curating and featuring this UGC on your website or social media platforms (or whichever marketing channel you favor most). In doing so, you can help increase the content’s reach and promote it directly to your audience and other users as well. Paid advertising is another option, wherein you would follow a similar approach to the above, but make it more structured by formatting it as a dedicated paid campaign. Finally, you could use the email marketing method and embed this user-generated content into newsletters or other forms of email comms, allowing you to speak directly to your newsletter subscribers.

Measuring the success of UGC campaigns

Metric tracking is the most clear-cut, sure-fire method of measuring how well your campaigns have performed. Some of the primary metrics to track include:

  • Reach: This refers to the number of users that have seen or engaged with the user-generated content you’ve put out. Reach is generally used to determine how well the campaign served brand awareness and engagement.

  • Engagement: Generally calculated by looking at likes, comments, and shares, engagement determines how relevant the content was to the audience it reached, and typically means they enjoyed it enough to interact with it.

  • Traffic: This metric determines how well the campaign performed in terms of driving conversions and involves the amount of user traffic directed at the brand’s website or social media platforms. 

  • Sales: A fairly straightforward measure, sales can be seen in a rise in average order values or the number of orders a brand has received during or after the campaign’s tenure.

Keeping abreast of metrics such as these can help you determine how well your campaign performed and give an indication of how you should conduct campaigns in the future, emulating them where you want to achieve similar results, or iterating on them to achieve different goals.

Case studies of successful user-generated content campaigns in the fashion industry

ASOS #AsSeenOnMe campaign -- My Fashion Inspiration

There have been a number of examples of successful UGC campaigns in the fashion industry, including:

  • ASOS: ASOS, the major online fashion retailer, ran a user-generated content campaign with the hashtag #AsSeenOnMe, encouraging customers to share outfit photos or otherwise featuring ASOS products. With over 1 million customers participating and more than 10 million social media interactions, the campaign proved to be a huge success with ASOS’s audience.

  • Prettylittlething: Prettylittlething encourages its audience to share photos of their looks and to use the hashtag #prettylittlething. The brand's Instagram account primarily features user-generated content posts. On average, influencers post 2,000 times with the #prettylittlething hashtag each month, reaching 4.3 million people.

  • H&M: H&M, a global fashion retailer, launched a user-generated content campaign called #HMxME, which encouraged customers to share their own photos wearing H&M products. The campaign was a success, with over 8 million social media interactions and a significant increase in traffic to the H&M website.

These examples illustrate the power and potential of UGC in the fashion space, proving that audiences respond favorably to content that is not only highly relatable, but authentic, and something that they too can take part in as a regular consumer.

The ongoing role of UGC in the fashion industry

To conclude things, it’s clear that user-generated content has proven to be a game-changing tool for brands in the fashion space looking for ways to boost their engagement and sales figures. Tapping into audiences’ desires to not only see themselves in common advertising but to take part in it as well, is a great method to see an uptick in engagement and create far-reaching hype or awareness for your products or services – when done right. Finding appropriate influencers who appeal to your target consumers and ensuring that the content they create is eye-catching, interesting, and relevant is key to getting your campaigns to drive the results you seek, and will also garner you a range of images and videos to incorporate into your website, social media platforms, email newsletters, and a host of other mediums as you see fit. Thanks to these benefits and more, UGC is likely here to stay in the fashion industry, and we’ll only see its role grow and evolve with time as influencer marketing continues to innovate and take shape.

Want to partner with influencers who will be right for your brand?
Find the best creators with HypeAuditor Influencer Discovery and its 138M+ account database.
Candice is an influencer marketing enthusiast and marketing copywriter at HypeAuditor. When she’s not searching for the perfect music and filters for her Instagram Stories, she can usually be found keeping up with the latest gaming and tech influencers on Twitch and YouTube – or drinking a latte macchiato.
Topics:Industries using influencer marketingCampaign management
February 6, 2023
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Candice is an influencer marketing enthusiast and marketing copywriter at HypeAuditor. When she’s not searching for the perfect music and filters for her Instagram Stories, she can usually be found keeping up with the latest gaming and tech influencers on Twitch and YouTube – or drinking a latte macchiato.
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Want to partner with influencers who will be right for your brand?
Find the best creators with HypeAuditor Influencer Discovery and its 138M+ account database.